May 26, 2011

I was going to ask if

I was the only person on the planet that hadn't drunk the kool-aid when it came to Orpah (no, not a typo, that's her real name). Seems not.

I've been mulling over writing about my lack of positive feelings towards Orpah and a NYT article this morning pushed me further in that direction, especially with "But nobody can copy her unique gift for mixing philanthropy and self-interest." Then a friend on Facebook made a comment that expressed relief that the great farewell was finally over. (I don't have permission to quote or name the person, so I won't.)

One of her tactics that always annoyed me, I mean really annoyed me to the point that I yelled at the tv, was that she always interrupted the person she was interviewing and turned what they were saying into a story about her. It was always about HER. Plus I really get peeved at people who interrupt, that little habit can so come back to bite you. (Are you listening, dear husband?)

Did Orpah give lots of money away to do good things? Yes, and if you missed any of these acts of generosity, have no fear because she will tell you about it, again and again and again!

I was brought up with the motto "Do good and forget about it". There is some failure in me that makes self-aggrandizement in others irksome to the nth degree. People with the extra-long arms that they developed patting themselves on the back - irk me. The "you don't believe I'm wonderful, just ask me" people irk me. There is nothing wrong with saying you're good at this or that or whatever but I'm not talking about "Yeah, I make a pretty good chocolate cake", I'm talking about "Oh, that's nice but look what I can do". The "I don't want to brag but..."

Back to Miss Orpah - the other thing that irked me is her guru-ish attitude. I am so not into "The Secret" (what a load of bull shit THAT is); or the "be all that you can be" - wait maybe that's the Army or "You are where you are supposed to be" - Is that not the most moronic statement ever? I envision people watching this who are living less than optimal lives, folks who are scrambling just to get a loaf of bread on the table, wondering what the hell she is talking about.

But then I have great antipathy towards the self-help movement; the pop psychology patter, all of this ooga-booga dancing around the oak trees, navel gazing, chakra chanting bush-wa. Do I support psychology, absolutely - a great therapist saved my life. Do I have "spiritual" beliefs - yes, I do. Are they for public consumption and discussion - no, they're not. Do I think some people are better than others - No, I do not. I don't give a rat's ass what your title is or how big your bank account or even what your skills are - ain't no one on this planet any more important, or deserving or better than any other person.

We happen to watch the 5 pm local news on the same station as Orpah's show so we caught the last 2 minutes of the Orpah soap opera - and there she was standing on an elevated platform, hands and eyes raised to the ceiling and all I thought was "What is she waiting for - the ascension?"

This sounds so very petty, doesn't it? And I do chastise myself for these feelings - they are not kind. But they are also naive. We all like to have our good deeds acknowledged. Are some good deeds more deserving of praise than others? No, you know what - No.
“I expect to pass through life but once. If therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again.”         William Penn



May 7, 2011

With the advent of more faux family holidays

I can’t help but wonder how folks who have less than wonderful parents react to this. Should there be any consideration for people who cringe at the mother’s day and father’s day festivities. People, for whom the only celebratory feelings they have, is that they survived their childhoods. For the children who didn’t survive their parent’s less than loving care, we can’t know how they feel about it.

I have held the belief that just because a woman gives birth it does not automatically entitle her to veneration for so long I can’t recall when I formed it. We are long past the time when producing a child was a matter of great mystery and awe. We know how it happens. We know where we come from. There’s no mystery, no magic or exceptional skill, knowledge or talent needed to get pregnant, and most of the time, to give birth. So what’s the big deal? Why are the creatures who do this very natural thing held in such esteem?

Many hold to the theory that no matter how a woman feels about pregnancy once the child is born they will automatically love it. It’s just a theory. It is not true. It is said that it’s the hormones that make a woman love and want to protect her child. I have to suppose then that some women lack these particular hormones. And what about fathers? They don’t have the hormone theory going for them so what is it for men - chest-thumping ego?

We learn how to be parents from our parents, and often we learn how NOT to be parents, turning a negative into a positive. And some of us recognize that being a parent is not something they want to be; that there isn’t enough positive in the world to affect the negative. That we are such damaged goods we can never risk passing on what we learned.

Everyone is raised by someone, humans being such fragile creatures and taking such a long time to reach self-sufficiency. That someone, or ones, may be loving, or not. When not, often there is some other someone who nurtures and loves and protects, as well as they can protect. That other someone doesn’t get a day.

Perhaps mother’s day and father’s day should be scrapped and a “Nurturer’s Day” should replace it. It’s a thought. Someone call Hallmark.

In the interest of full disclosure I should tell you I received a beautiful basket of goodies and a card as a Mother’s Day gift - It was from my brother.